Thursday, December 30, 2010

Child Abuse Taboo in National Media

I am not one to typically publicly proclaim my political standings- but this is so much more than a political view to me. With the exception of being biased about who I cheer for in wrestling, it will be the only controversial stand I will take on this blog. However, I was moved to share the newsletter I will post at the end.

I received this newsletter on December 14th as a board Member of Prevent Child Abuse for Lawrence County. I had to share.

It is absolutely shocking to me to realize that child abuse is not reported on a national outlet. And why not? We hear about it locally, sometimes as just a passing story, but enough information to make us hold back tears and turn to the person next to us and say "I just don't get it. How could you ever do that to your child??"
And then, onto your local weather. 

But why not make our children a national concern. Why do we have to wait until there are mass murders in schools and a trend to children suicides? Many of these tragic events can be traced back to some kind of child abuse in the past--or present, yet we treat the back story as Taboo

If the cycle is not broken- it won't cease. If we don't make an issue out of it- it will continue to received a blind eye and deaf ear. If we don't report it- we will lose another child.

I will never have sympathy for someone who can hurt a child. Someone who can get high on drugs and pull all the teeth of a 4 year old. Someone who can shake an infant to the result of 20+ broken bones. Someone who can beat a child every night for nearly a week until his very unfortunate death. These things I will never understand, because there is absolutely no excuse, no explanation, no JUSTIFICATION for any kind of Child Abuse.

Being a parent is stressful- I do get that. Familiarize yourself with parent-stress phone lines to help you get through those times. Gain a great friend to vent. And never, ever forget to take some time for you- even just 5 minutes.

Read the newsletter below carefully, and please, pass it on.


“National Epidemic” of Nearly 2,500 Deaths Each Year Covered Significantly Less at National Level Than Other Issues Involving Far Fewer Deaths; Above-Average Child Maltreatment Death Rates in FL, NE, NM, TN, OK, TX, AR, MO, LA, OH, GA and CO Highlighted.

WASHINGTOND.CDecember 14, 2010 Every death is tragic, but why does the national media in the U.S. ignore the nearly 2,500 deaths each year that result from child abuse and neglect?   Why do other issues involving far fewer deaths – such as the H1N1 virus, food-borne illnesses, Toyota accelerator malfunctions and coal mining – get far more attention from major news media outlets?

These are the tough questions that are being posed today by the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths (NCECAD) in calling for an end to the “de facto national media blackout” on coverage of deaths due to child abuse and neglect.    The Coalition stressed that the lack of media attention to U.S. child abuse deaths is the No. 1 impediment to the enactment of needed federal and state reforms, including a seven-step national strategy to curb child deaths due to maltreatment, $3-$5 billion in additional federal funding, and reform of state confidentiality laws.

The little-reported-on national scourge of child abuse and neglect deaths is so severe in the U.S. that it even eclipses the combined number of annual U.S. combat fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to NCECAD data.   The most current figures show the following annual numbers for much more widely publicized causes of death:  

•    U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan: 479.
•    H1N1 pediatric fatalities: 281.
•    Food borne illnesses: 74.
•    Toyota accelerator malfunction: 34.
•    Coal mining accidents: 33.
•    Total of above: 901.

(See the NCECAD data online at 

Though U.S. government reporting tracks only about 1,800 child maltreatment deaths (which is still twice all of the other causes listed above, including combat deaths in Iraq/Afghanistan), flaws in the abuse/neglect reporting system obscure a true child death toll that is estimated at an annual average of nearly 2,500.  The flaws leading to underreporting of child abuse and neglect are, in fact, one of the issues that would be remedied under the Coalition’s recommended reforms. (See below.)  

A search of Google News for ”child abuse deaths” shows more than 700 stories for January-November 2010, with nearly all of the stories being of the local “crime beat” variety and with almost no national coverage in the mix.   This contrasts sharply with much more nationally oriented news reporting on the other topics, including flu deaths (1,180 stories), food illness deaths (over 3,000 stories).   The Coalition emphasized that it in no way is minimizing the importance other causes of death and, instead, is seeking to ensure that child abuse and neglect deaths get the attention they deserve from the news media.

While the child abuse/child neglect crisis is one of major national concern, it also is of particular significance in the top 12 states that are above the national average for child abuse/neglect deaths (2.33 per 100,000 children):  Florida 4.62; Nebraska 3.80; New Mexico 3.78; Tennessee 3.72; Oklahoma 3.42; Texas 3.32; Arkansas 2.99; Missouri 2.95; Louisiana and Ohio (both at 2.71); Georgia 2.67; and Colorado 2.65.

Michael Petit, President, Every Child Matters Education Fund, said:  “The plain truth here is that our nation is suffering from what is nothing short of an epidemic of child abuse and neglect deaths and the U.S. media is turning a blind eye to this problem.   We are here today to call for an end to this de facto national media blackout so that more Americans and policymakers can come to understand the need for action that will otherwise never happen if this crisis continues to lag in obscurity.   This is a real wake-up call for national media, which we are calling on to start doing its job in casting a long-overdue spotlight on child abuse and neglect deaths.

Scott Burns, executive director, National District Attorneys Association, said:  "A District Attorney's job is not just to prosecute offenders, but to protect victims.  Who is more vulnerable than a child?  There are what experts believe to be nearly 2,500 child abuse and neglect deaths each year in the U.S.  This is staggering compared to the number of widely publicized Toyota accelerator deaths (34), H1N1 deaths (281), and even the number of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan (479).  While each death is tragic and important, child abuse deaths receive virtually no national media attention.  America can do better."  

Teresa Huizar, director, National Children's Alliance, said: “Child abuse deaths are misunderstood by the public, and often reported by the media, as isolated and largely inexplicable family events.  They are neither.  Rather, they are preventable tragedies and our national shame.  We are calling on policymakers to implement a national strategy to end these needless deaths.” 

Joan Zlotnik, director, Social Work Policy Institute, National Association of Social Workers, said:  “Every day, too many children are abused, neglected and murdered in our communities. The only way to truly protect these vulnerable lives is to address the most serious problems facing families in crisis. Well-trained professionals serving in community-based prevention programs and in adequately funded service agencies are essential, but they are not enough. Our national leaders must decide that vulnerable lives are also valuable lives, and then support policies that make real change possible.” 


The following recommendations are supported by the National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths: 

1.    Building upon the best of current child protection systems, the government should develop a strategy for stopping maltreatment deaths. It should include public health and social services aimed at strengthening families and preventing maltreatment in the first place: voluntary, universal home visiting, substance abuse and mental health treatment, teen pregnancy prevention, pre-natal care, and other policies proven to work, along with state of the art assessment tools to identify and properly assess those at risk. 

2.    Current levels of federal spending are far below the level needed to protect all children at imminent risk of harm. An estimated $3-$5 billion in additional funds are required, for example, to allow child protective workers and other frontline personnel to have smaller caseloads and better training not only so that they will be better prepared to immediately protect children but so that they will consider lifelong careers in child protection thus bringing needed maturity and experience to the system. Continuing education and training across disciplines should be mandated, focusing especially on licensure, accreditation, and support for sub-specialties. Funds are also needed to provide a wide array of public health and social services to help at-risk kids, including comprehensive in-home services for all children already in the system. 

3.    In consideration of expanded federal spending, states should be required to adopt national standards drawn from existing best practices and policies for protecting children.

4.    Originally intended to protect living child victims from publicity, confidentiality laws have become a hindrance to a better public understanding of child abuse and neglect fatalities. The withholding of information, especially between jurisdictions and between agencies can be detrimental and cost children their lives. Congress should consider modifications to confidentiality laws to allow policy makers, the press, and the public to better understand what protection policies and practices need to be improved in the aftermath of a child's death, while still protecting the rights of children and families.

5.    The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) should standardize definitions and methodologies used to collect state data related to maltreatment deaths and should require states to provide such data to the Department and within and across systems in order to receive federal funds. This would require that state child death review teams   be adequately funded.

6.    HHS, in cooperation with state child protective and public health agencies, should conduct a public education campaign to encourage reporting of child maltreatment, and to enlist communities in the protection of children.  Because much maltreatment and many maltreatment deaths arise from neglect and abuse, neglect should receive equal focus in the campaign and by those involved in child protection.

7.    To better protect children at imminent risk of severe harm, the federal government, led by HHS, and in cooperation with states, should adopt a model protocol for assuring that civil and criminal legal proceedings are closely coordinated between child protection and law enforcement agencies.


The National Coalition to End Child Abuse Deaths is made up of five national organizations that came together following the release of the report "We Can Do Better: Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in America" at the Summit to End Child Abuse and Neglect Deaths in October 2009. The report recognized the growing number of American children who die each year as a result of child abuse and neglect -- nearly 2,500 -- and several studies suggest that this is a low estimate of the actual number of deaths. Among rich democracies, this rate is three times higher than that of Canada and 11 times higher than that of Italy. The Coalition members are: National Association of Social Workers, National Center for Child Death Review, National Children’s Alliance, Every Child Matters Education Fund and National District Attorneys Association.

MEDIA CONTACT:  Ailis Aaron Wolf, (703) 276-3265

EDITOR’S NOTE:  A streaming audio replay of the news event will be available on the Web at as of 5 p.m. EST on December 14, 2010.  

Michael Petit
Every Child Matters Education Fund

Homeland Insecurity ...Why new investments in children and youth 
must be a priority for the Obama Administration and the 111th Congress

Thank you for your help in making children a political priority.

Every Child Matters is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to make children a national political priority. For more information, visit
2000 M St. NW, Suite 203 Washington, DC 20036

Saturday, October 2, 2010

First Ladies of Wrestling, llc.

Officially in business.

What started as just an idea for fundraising for the Hoosier Wrestling Club, got my wheels turnin'. And so I decided to run with it.

Unfortunately, a business can't run on just a clever name ;) So what is it that I plan to do with First Ladies of Wrestling, llc.?

1. Preserve the sport of Wrestling. There are plenty of clubs/teams out there that requiring funding from others. First ladies of Wrestling, llc. offers the opportunity for these not-for-profit wrestling organizations to utilize us as a fundraising partner. Such as we are currently doing with the Hoosier Wrestling Club out of Bloomington, IN. There is a few different ways this can take place, depending on the preference of the Club/Team. If interested in fundraising, please email me, Nicole, at

2. Be an outlet for showing pride in the sport we love. As a fan of wrestling, I grew to become very proud, very dedicated, very excited, and a tad defensive ;) I wore the shirts, I sported some of the fun accessories, but nothing said "I am a Woman, and I love WRESTLING!". Yes, I go to the big NCAA tournaments, I know quite a few alumni-wrestlers from various schools that make these weekends guys-weekends. But I think we can all agree, there is nothing like the passion of a Female Wrestling Fan. Whether you are a Mom, Sister, Aunt, GF/Fiance/Wife- your dedication is A-Mazing. If you are going to park your behind on stadium seating for 8 hours a day, 1, 2 or 3 days at a time, you deserve a shirt that says "I Support a Wrestler!" That ladies, is a full time job.

So what do I plan to offer you?

I have quite a few fun shirt ideas rolling around, and these will be released 1 at a time, with the preceding designs available until officially retired. And don't worry, plenty of other ideas will be released periodically as well.

Spread the word: We are on Facebook- First Ladies of Wrestling. Will update on http:// And will launch a website as soon as possible!

Here is our first shirt- Currently Raising Funds for Hoosier Wrestling Club:

How to Order?

Shirts are $20.00 a piece.

Please copy and paste the 'form' below in an email to

Email address for contact:

Style: Woman or Mother
Color: Bright or Light
Size: S-XL

I will then email you an invoice. I can currently only accept cash (for pick-up orders) or check (made out to First Ladies of Wrestling, llc.). There is a shipping charge that is figured from USPS, this will also be quoted on your invoice.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Gentlemen Only, (except when their) Ladies Forbid (it)

Yet another exciting Alumni Weekend for IU Wrestling. Yet this time we weren't so Stepford Wife.

Erin hitting a sweet drive mid-sentence. Check.
Jaimie's matching clubs and outfit. Check.
Mad Golf-Cart Skills. Check.
Busting out a new set of clubs in the parking lot 30 minutes before the shot-gun start. Check.

Our experience on the course should be sold to Lorne Michaels as a great SNL skit. Stereotypical Women we were- always positive, could find a compliment in the worst of shots, "You Made Contact!". Absolutely Hysterical! Loved every minute of it! And sorry boys- it will definitely happen again ;)

I strongly encourage more ladies to attend next year. It doesn't even have to be a "Guys only weekend infringement". I am sure that we all have enough putting-up-with-a-wrestler material to last us for a Girls' Weekend of our own ;) As far as golfing goes, we require no prerequisites and only have one rule:

"If they don't sell Mulligans, we bring our own :P"

Good Times, looking forward to next September (I'm only guessing).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

First Ladies of Wrestling Fundraiser

Let's be honest- who is more competitive than the two guys grappling on the Mat?

The Women in the stands.

And I believe that to the fullest. Girlfriend, fiancee, Wife, Mother, Sister. It takes a special kind of female to support a wrestler pre-, present- and post- season.

To raise money for the Hoosier Wrestling Club, we are going to sell Women's T-shirts. However, before I put in the very first order- I am putting out a request to anyone interested in purchasing to answer the questions at the bottom of this posting by commenting here, through facebook or by emailing

And of course- I would not have you claim to want to purchase just any T-shirt! So here is the design that we are working with a Screen printer to make.

As a woman, (especially post-baby-body), I am a bit picky about my t-shirts. So please be sure this shirt WILL BE QUALITY! I will be checking out samples before settling as well but I am leaning toward:
  • Women's Fit (of Course!),
  • relax cut,
  • ring-spun cotton blend (Ooo so soft!),
  • no heavier than 5.0 oz
  • Not transparent
  • A little longer than the average length

I am hoping that Kim can work with us and give us 2 colors to choose from

  • Hot Pink
  • Light Pink

As well as different options of screen print to accommodate the important women in a wrestler's life ;) This will be Front and Back screen printing in a Cream Color.


(HWC logo)

What is stronger than a Wrestler?


His Woman. -or- His Mother.

Wrestling. Spectating is a sport.

I hope this gives you a good enough idea of the shirt and that you would be proud to wear one (or have your lady wear one ;))! If you are confused at all, please email me and I could probably show it a bit more literally through a word document.

Without skimping on the quality of the shirt, I am guessing that they may each be somewhere between $20-$25. Of course if we can generate enough interest in the shirts *before* ordering our first batch, it could be more likely that they would be $20 each. But of course- this is a fundraiser and we do want to make some money for the Hoosier Wrestling Club. BTW- for those of you who do not have ties to IU wrestling, but are a dedicated female Wrestling Fan, the logo is a simple HWC.

So you are interested right?? ;) Questions to answer for me:

1- Size? Yay for Women's fit!!! So over a "Man's" Small/Medium!

2- Color preference? I am talking "BAM" I'm PINK! or Awww Pink ;)

3- Are you His Woman. or His Mother. ??

Please feel free to pass this onto any, "Yeah I Live. Eat. Breath. NCAA Wrestling" Woman.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fan Favorite Award 2010

Who is your Outstanding Wrestler of the year? Cast your vote now for this year's Fan Favorite IU Wrestler of the Year! Email with Fan Fav in the subject line, the name of your favorite 09-10 IU starter and if you would like, a brief statement why you chose this young man.

A few things to think about:
1- It doesn't have to be "the best wrestler" on the team. Quite frankly I don't care if you respect his technique or just think a singlet is the perfect cut to show off all those chiseled muscles. This award is going to the Favorite Wrestler ergo, the guy with the most votes- for whatever reason!

2- It has to be a 2009-2010 starter.

3- Only 1 vote per email address. If you want to take the time to create a million different email addresses, More Power to You!! You must really love Your Outstanding Wrestler!

4- What is the best thing about the Internet?? COMMUNICATION! PASS IT ON!!! Send this link to anyone you want and Campaign for Your Outstanding Wrestler! Bribery is just a creative way to compromise ;)

5- (Wrestlers, you can vote too ;) and it would be silly if you all just voted for each other, it would just cancel out your votes. Don't worry, I won't tell ;))

6- Whether you followed by never missing a dual/tourney, read up on the Internet or newspaper (ha!), followed me on Twitter ;) @imwiththeteam (cheap plug), Or waited for those Smoke Signals-- Vote!!! If there was one guy who you just could not wait to hear how he did- Vote for Him!

7- Voting ends Sunday, March 28th at 8:59pm Eastern Time (I have a tot to put to bed). And the Fan Favorite Wrestler will be honored at the team banquet. (Hopefully I will have some great reasons why you chose who you chose). After the banquet I will post the winner on this blog site.

So remember, 1 vote per email by Sunday, March 28th at 8:59pm EST to

Any questions, comment this blog or email me at

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I take you, Wrestling, to be my Life...

A typical conversation with someone who inquiries about what my husband does goes like this about 98% of the time:

"What does your husband do?"

"He is a wrestling coach for IU."

"(insert your favorite positive comfirmation here). So when is wrestling season?"

Me chuckling at the inside joke in my head. "Well opens, invitationals and dual tournaments begin in October. Then Big Ten's really get underway about January and competition-season closes with the NCAA tournament in mid-March."

"Sounds like a great work schedule-"

"-Then there is recruiting, that really doesn't 'stop' throughout the year, but it is the main priority April through September."

"I see, so no off-"

"-No, no off-season."

Am I bitter about this? I would be the perfect Stepford-Wife if I said "No, I support my husband 100% in whatever he wishes to do." (Cheesy smile and twinkle in my eye) But let's be honest, I am not a Stepford-Wife in any form of the stereotype. Yes I do support my husband 100%, but I have had my moments of 'Do you really have to leave again??' However, wrestling really has become my life as well. Strategically planning my PTO days around tournament time is something I have gotten pretty darn good at in the last 5 years! But I do have an underlying desire to go to Chicago one year for a St. Patrick's Day vacation... Guess that will have to wait until Northwestern hosts the Nationals...

The role of Wrestling Wife really is a "Love it" or "Hate it" deal. My first encounter with the sport was about 8 years ago at a home IU dual meet when I saw my very-recent-boyfriend throw his opponent at 197lbs... impressed to say the least, however, I was completely clueless to what exactly was going on. In a short period of time I learned a lot and was able to quickly say, "Wrestling is my favorite sport".

I was a very emotional fan watching Pat wrestling for 3 years at IU. And although the heart pounding and muscle tensing has let up, I still get that Hunting-Lioness instinct watching our guys wrestle. I am never one to sit completely still, stay completely quite, or for that matter stay completely classy. I can imagine I embarrass Pat at least a handful of times with every passing season, But I couldn't be happier or more honored to be part of such a close-knit, cut-throat athletic Family.

So wrestling,
To have and to hold (but of course no locking of hands),
For richer or poorer (let's loosen up on the poor k?)
In Sickness and in Health (so glad we got through weight-cuts!)
To love and to cherish (it isn't your fault the ref made a bad call)
From this day forward, until total knee and hip replacements do us part...